Thursday, March 01, 2007

insomnia and insane people

I have had a lifelong battle with insomnia, and lately it's kicking my voluptuous rump. (I haven't been blogging lately because I'm so sleep-deprived I can hardly type, and I haven't enough neurons firing to be entertaining). The husband's long-held theory is that my drinking causes my insomnia, which I contend is nonsense (and indeed, this latest bout with insomnia started during week four of my month of not drinking). There's nothing like being up most of the night, engaged in a power struggle with my cats (who are of the opinion that if I'm awake in the middle of the night, then it obviously must be their breakfast-time, and just because a cat has a breakfast at three a.m. does not mean said cat does not feel morally entitled to breakfast again at seven a.m.) and then having a full day of tending to high-energy, high-maintenance children. Yesterday was the worst: I had to ask the Sober Husband to drive Lola to preschool, because I just wasn't cognitively able to drive a car safely. A pot of coffee and a Red Bull later, I was able to pick up the children and bring them home.

Despite only getting about four and a half hours of sleep (and that is a generous estimate), I managed to get Lola to her little kid gymnastics class on time this week, but I made the mistake of having a conversation with the irritating gymnastics mother. I was in a good mood because the Irritating Mother arrived late and in a rage because it took her twenty minutes to find a parking spot. She seethed, "I'm going to change times! It's just unreasonable to try to park now!" She seems to feel that gymnastics classes should not be taught at inconvenient parking times and said that the class dismissals should be staggered to allow easier parking. We pointed out that there is a commercial parking lot very close by, but the Irritating Mother refuses to pay for parking, despite her bragged-of $300,000 annual income.

The Irritating Mother was on somewhat of a tear, wanting to vent about a friend of hers whom she is about to cut off. It turns out that the Irritating Mother keeps a spreadsheet of playdates, and this other friend owes her twenty-four hours of hosting playdates.

Evidently the Irritating Mother formed the conclusion that I am hurting for money, and this set her off as there is nothing more offensive to her than poor people. She fixed me with an unblinking, crazy-eyed stare to rant pointedly about people who park in the commercial lot but who sponge off people like her by applying for financial aid for their child's gymnastics class. (I pay the full tuition for the classes; I pay for parking; I do not complain about either, as both are well worth it). Then she crossed the line and said something unforgivable: "Your daughter is going to have problems when she's older because she is the poor girl at a rich kids' school", referring to the fact that seven year-old Iris Uber Alles attends a private girls' school.

I was astounded. "I... AM.. NOT... POOR" was my kneejerk reaction, said in a steely voice. In retrospect, I should not have said that, as though there were something shameful about being poor. If I were poor, I would still want my child to attend her excellent school, and I would be proud of procuring the finest education for my child.

The true offensiveness was her assumption and proclamation that I have made a terrible parenting decision which is going to fuck up my daughter. My husband and I worked uncommonly hard to find the right school for Iris Uber Alles, and we are very happy indeed with her school. Iris genuinely wants to go to school every day, where she excels academically and socially.

But beyond that, why this woman would decide I was traumatically poor is mystifying. I was dressed very casually, in baggy camouflage pants and a black t-shirt, but then again, after class I was going to work a shift at Lola's parent-coop preschool. I was dressed for playing in the mud and painting. I don't myself jump to conclusions about people's bank accounts based on their wardrobes; there are many extremely rich people shambling about in shabby jeans and plenty penniless people enjoying their Louis Vuitton bags and Chanel sunglasses.

With so little sleep, it was just all too much for my frayed nerves. I was in a sleep-deprived rage for a couple of hours. Thankfully I did perk up later, drinking a magnificent sparkling wine made from chardonnay grapes and cooking farfalle with fresh chives and fried shallots. Oh, yes, we poor people manage to eat and drink well at times, which must serve as some consolation for our terrible decision making dooming our children to a life of neurosis.


JKG said...

Outrageous. Such people should be shot.

That she has already bred is a nightmare in itself. And to think that tabula-nearly-raza will be engraved by such a depraved person.

You have my sympathies. I suffer frequently from taxi-wit, but under the circumstances I might have had trouble coming up with any response at all. Brass like that takes the breath away. Le mot juste faces an incredible challenge when confronted by such bare depravity, not to mention insomnia. A vicious slap would have been an appropriate rejoinder, imo.

Perhaps you can have hughman over for a passive-aggressive intervention or something. (a joke, hugh. loved your story)

hughman said...

no offense taken jim. :)

trust me, if i'd been there it would have been like the gym scene from carrie. except i'm 6'6", 240, with a withering stare. you don't want to fuck with a woman with her gay.

Freewheel said...

Sleep or no sleep, that was an entertaining post. And in the spirit of entertaining blogging (and to have a great story to share at parties), I propose the following:

Next gymnastics class, arrive wearing rags. Like something you'd paint in, only ripped and torn. Bring a tin cup. Beg for change from your friends (who are in on this plan) because you've run out of money paying for private school and parking. After your friends contribute (you'll give it back to them later) hit up Irritating Woman. Don't take no for an answer.

Anonymous said...

sweetie, you are a Good Mom.

I feel sorry for the Irritating Woman's children - though if it makes you feel better, remember that they'll probably grow up to be "bohemian" (read: freaks who shop at thrift stores, dye their hair funny colors and otherwise mortify her at every turn!)


yr sister in insomnia (aka M)

JKG said...

freewheel, that's hilarious.

"Please, missus. For the children. Their tuition, don't you know. [shakes cup] Spare a penny? Please?"

You could take it up a notch and try to sell her some withered violets. "I'm just a poor girl, I am."

Maybe that's too much...

Silliyak said...

If you want to go WAY over the top you could do an Eliza Dolittle voice/accent, "Er now missie,oy got needs don I?"
Personally I'd start a rumor than Mrs "B" is so poor she can't afford parking, poor dear...Hey take up a collection for HER! That'd blow a gasket!

the Drunken Housewife said...
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